President Donald Trump, recall, is moving to reclassify Federal senior-level civil service employees into a new category (Schedule F for those following along) that would facilitate their hiring and firing outside the existing Federal employment rules that generally serve to keep those employees on the job regardless of their performance quality. That protection tends to obviate the hiring part by reducing the number and availability of slots into which to hire: they’re already (and still) occupied.
That last—ability to hire—is little talked about, as the focus, especially by public unions, has been on job protection rather than job performance.
I said all that to point out all this. One of the beefs about making it easier to fire senior civil servants is this:
Without the existing protections, civil servants in policy-making roles could be replaced by less experienced and knowledgeable staff who more closely subscribe to the administration’s political goals, public-employee advocates said.
What these self-serving advocates omit to say is that, alternatively, civil servants in policy-making roles could be replaced by just as experienced and just as knowledgeable, if not more so, staff. The new staff’s experience, too, would necessarily be broader, as they’d be coming in from outside instead of continuing the hot house echo room (not to mix metaphors or anything) mind set resulting from an extended career buried in the civil service. That increased breadth of experience is dispositive.
Even more dispositive, though, is that more closely subscribe to the administration’s political goals part. Federal employees exist to carry out the administration’s policies and goals, not their own. If they can’t keep up with changing administrations, or choose not to, they’re unfit for continuation.
Oh, and here’s a hint on the breadth of the problem that wants correction [emphasis added]:
The Office of Management and Budget, which played a lead role in crafting the [reclassification] order, submitted its own preliminary list last week, recommending that 425 positions at the office—more than 80% of the entire staff—be categorized as Schedule F[.]